Bletchley Park Trust today secured £7.4 million in funding to renovate the historic “Huts” in which British code breakers were working on decrypting ciphers created by the German Enigma machines.
The site housed the Government Code and Cypher School during World War II, and includes the first purpose-built computer centre in the world. Since 2007, it has also been home to the National Museum of Computing.
This month, the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, one of the founding fathers of computer science. He was working at Bletchley Park as the head of Hut 8, the section responsible for naval cryptanalysis. Work done by Turing and his colleagues is widely considered to have influenced the outcome of the war.
Last year, the Bletchley Park Trust announced it needed to raise £2.4 million to access the £5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and renovate the site. It has now reached this target, thanks in part to the £500,000 donation by Google.
Google had previously donated another £100,000 to help renovate Bletchley Park facilities.
The much-needed funds will help restore the currently-derelict Huts three and six, which were tasked with breaking code relating to the German Army and Air Force more than 60 years ago.
“This is an exciting and unparalleled milestone in the 20-year history of the work of the Bletchley Park Trust, allowing us to start the work of preserving this site for future generations and in permanent tribute to the extraordinary men and women who worked here during WW2,” said Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust.
The restoration work will begin in autumn. Now Bletchley Park Trust plans to raise another £15 million to expand its museum and build an education centre that will preserve the heritage of the British code breakers.
Earlier this year, the online e-petition seeking an official pardon for Alan Turing, criminalised for being homosexual, had been rejected by the government. In 1952, Turing was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ with another man and punished by chemical castration. Two years later, he died, in what many had believed was a suicide.
But this month saw a professor argue there was not enough evidence to suggest Turing did commit suicide.
How much do you know about Alan Turing? Take our Turing test!
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